Equine anatomy, including some causes of lameness
From suggestion of the title, equine anatomy covers the whole structure of the horse. This includes the Musular, Skeletal and Nervous systems. However, here we will concentrate on the very basics, mainly that of the legs.
Knowing the basics behind equine anatomy will give you more knowledge and awareness when buying and caring for your horse. Knowing these basics can help you tell where the pain is when your horse falls lame, or when she becomes ill, and therefore when its time to call the vet.
if you are unduly worried about your horse, call your vet immediately
We'll start with a few conditions that can cause lameness..please note that most of the conditions below may need specialist veterinary treatment.
Bone Spavin...this is a bony growth on the inside of the lower part of the hock - can be misleading as lameness disappears after a few minutes of trotting.
Sprained Fetlock...Your horse may twist herself in the field when playing around and is not dissimilar to a human sprain. The whole joint will normally swell up and become hot. Box rest and regular hose-piping is recommended but if there is no sign of any improvement after a few days, call the vet.
Sprained Tendon... This will also be the same for a sprained check ligament and suspensory ligament all of which is located behind the cannon bone. These are caused by and injury from a strain, as above, Treat with frequent hose-piping and rest. If simple first aid isn't clearing up the swelling and lameness, call the vet.
Splints...These are bothersome while they are forming and can be located on the splint bone or cannon bone as small bony nobules, causing lameness in a younger horse. It maybe necessary to treat with a cortisone injection..This can only of course, be done by a vet.
Thrush...this is a smelly condition of the frog (the 'v' located inside the hoof) which has been neglected through lack of picking the feet out on a regular basis. In the first instance, clean out daily with salt water and use disinfectant powder. Again if it persists, guess what? .. Call the vet.
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